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24/09/2021

Are car fuel suppliers creaming it? Official figures show rocketing sales as prices spiral

Surge in cost of crude oil drives price increases at Longford petrol pumps

The cost of petrol and diesel is spiking but sales are rocketing.

More car diesel is being sold to fuel Irish cars in June 2021 than for any June in the last 20 years but that has not stopped a spike in price at the pumps, according to the latest statistics.

However, official figures show that the operators of filling stations may have not choice but to charge high prices because the cost wholesale cost suppliers are charging them is at its highest point in a decade.

Central Statistics Office Fuel Excise Clearances figures published on July 5 show that sales have also returned to pre-pandemic levels. It shows that autodiesel sales in in June 2021 were 2% higher than in June 2019.

The CSO also says the June 2021 autodiesel figure is the highest June figure in the 2000-2021 time series and was 23% higher than the level in June 2020.

This has not stopped diesel prices spiking at the pumps exceeding €1.45 a litre at many pumps. However, the price paid by filling stations to supply drivers is at its highest level in nearly seven years.

The CSO report also says there was a large increase of 36% for clearances of petrol in June 2021 compared with the levels in June 2020. It says June 2021 petrol clearance volumes were 9% below June 2019.

Petrol was down 54% in January 2021 compared with January 2019; down 46% in February; down 36% in March; down 28% in April 2021; and down 24% in May 2021 compared with the respective months in 2019.

Th wholesale cost of petrol is at its highest point since Septmber 2014 which was also the last time diesel was at the same high price as today.

The average cost of a litre of petrol at Irish filling stations has passed the €1.50 a litre mark.

The Covid-19 lockdowns saw auto fuel demand plummet in 2020 with lowest wholesale prices being charged in April and May which had a knock-on impact at the pumps.

Clearances of kerosene (mainly used as a home heating fuel) in June 2021 were 34% lower than in June 2020. Excise clearances of marked gas oil in June 2021 were 26% higher than in June 2020, with volumes being the highest for the month of June since 2008. Marked gas oil is used for off-road purposes such as agriculture and heating of larger buildings.

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